This song has always felt like an important part of my life, but it has taken a long time for me to realise what it is about.
On face value is seems like a love song, that is what Van Morrison is singing about, his love, his Sweet Thing. The lyrics are poetic, like a romantic love ballad, but the melody and rhythm betray it. They twist and turn. The song has the winding, twisting bounce of life. It has energy beyond the lyrics, and is about something in the mind.
There isn't any of the sweetness - the low and mellow of a deep love. There are no dropping piano keys, no eternities, no reds and purples. The song sounds green, like leaves blowing in the wind. It personifies the album cover, with trees, skies and spirituality. That is what you see when you close your eyes to this song - skies and gardens wet with rain. In this way it cannot be a love song - not a love for a person.
Van Morrison sounds like he is yearning, moaning with joy, with relief.
And one day, a summer day; like those of Astral Weeks. The kind where your restlessness darkens the top of sky like you're wearing glasses - I saw it. The song is about redemption. The pure golden fulfilment that itches your fingers. Sweet Thing is the song you sing to yourself when everything is broken and you sing it with a cold duty, to remind yourself of what has been and will be - that time when you're going to be happy.
This is what Van Morrison is singing his love for - those moments in your life you never forget. When the sun seems brighter than before and all your worries are forgotten. Songs of gardens, children, adventures with friends - running away with life. This is what redemption sounds like. This is the Sweet Thing we yearn for and, how we sing for it.